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The Dangers Of Using Cotton Swabs To Clean Your Ears

Amish Patel - April 14, 2023 - 0 comments

Despite the warnings on the box, many people still insist on using cotton swabs and Q-tips to clean their ears. While using a Q-tip to clean the outer ear is safe, using it to remove ear wax inside the ear can potentially damage the inner ear canal and ear drum.

Did you know that 40% of ruptured eardrums occur from people attempting to remove ear wax with cotton swabs? Not only are ruptured eardrums painful, but they can also cause hearing loss and are more prone to infection.

There are several reasons to avoid using Q-tips and cotton swabs in your ears and learning how to clean ears without Q-tips can protect your long-term ear health.

The Dangers Of Using Q-Tips And Cotton Swabs To Clean Your Ears

In addition to accidentally puncturing your eardrum using a cotton swab, they can damage or infect your ear canal in other ways.

When you use cotton swabs for ear wax removal, instead of removing the wax you are pushing it deeper into the inner ear. When you do this repeatedly, over time, the earwax builds up, hardens, and creates a blockage that can impact the eardrum, cause hearing issues, and make the ear more prone to infection.

Safe Alternatives to Using Q-tips to Remove Excess Earwax

Ear Wax Removal at Home

Ear Drops

Over-the-counter ear drops can help hardened wax break down and come out independently.

Ear Irrigation (Syringing)

Alternatively, you purchase an ear wax removal kit to safely remove ear wax. It contains ear wax softener which is used a few before to make it easier to flush out ear wax. The kit also comes with a bulb-shaped syringe and saline water solution that you use to flush our excess wax.

Professional Ear Wax Removal

If you are unable to remove troublesome ear wax build-up at home, the safest way is to have a professional do it.

Depending on how much build-up there is and where it is in the ear canal, there are four different options:

  • Ear drops and wax softener
  • Ear syringing (irrigation)
  • Microsuction ear wax removal
  • Endoscopic ear wax remover

So instead of using cotton swabs to clean your ears, stop by Intrigue Health to get your ears checked and set up a professional ear wax removal appointment in Longfield. Click here to book an appointment today!

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